Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to lay off state workers unless Republican lawmakers fully fund the Missouri Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicles Division for a full fiscal year.
The warning comes one day after House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to only fund the state division for eight months, as a means of pressuring state Revenue officials to stop scanning and storing source documents of driver's license applicants. Nixon says he'll treat the 8-month appropriation as a full year's funding if GOP leaders don’t reverse themselves.
Missouri House and Senate budget negotiators have crafted a final version of next year's state budget.
The nearly $25 billion spending plan includes a $66 million increase for K-12 schools, and a $25 million hike for state universities and community colleges. It still does not include the Medicaid expansion proposed by Governor Jay Nixon (D), which disappointed committee member and State Senator Kiki Curls (D, Kansas City).
Missouri senators trying to target budget cuts at the agency that issues driver's licenses may have instead blocked funding for the registration of boats and mobile homes.
The Senate passed a budget plan late Monday that eliminates the entire $3.5 million allotment for the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division.
During debate, senators said the proposed cut could halt the issuance of driver's licenses. They described it as negotiating leverage to get additional information from state officials about the data collected from driver's license applicants.